Drunk driving actually began long before automobiles were invented. As soon as man climbed onto the back of another animal and began riding, there have been drunken horse, camel, and elephant riders. Drinking played a large part in seafaring as well.
Until fairly recently in human history, alcohol played an important part in many civilizations for a simple reason. A constant source of clean water is harder to come by than you might think. Without modern materials and methods, stored water quickly stagnates.
We turn on a faucet and drinkable water comes out. To get to our faucet, massive amounts of water are first collected, processed to make sure it is safe, and stored before piping it to our homes. The collection, processing, and distribution system for clean water was actually devised in the 20th century. Until then, safe, drinkable water even here in America, was scarce. 100 years ago, diseases like dysentery, cholera and typhoid would spread through water killing hundreds of thousands.
And that’s the way it had been throughout the ages. mmmm ... grapes As early man abandoned nomadic lifestyles and created villages and towns, clean water supplies would not last. Invariably, the source of the water becomes tainted, perhaps by animals, or perhaps by another tribe upstream.
As an alternative to water, alcohol could be stored longer and was usually safer. It wasn’t fully understood then, but most of the deadly viruses and germs that lived and worked in water could not survive in alcohol. So it was that alcohol became a staple in most people’s lives.
It’s no wonder that between killing germs and dulling pain, alcohol was also always widely used as a medicine.
Historians claim that slaves building the Great Pyramid at Giza drank about 1 ½ gallons of beer a day. While pyramid-building slaves did not ride animals, it shows how much beer was being produced thousands of years ago. Brewing beer was a daily task in every Egyptian household. Meanwhile, pharaohs and kings preferred wine. Many tombs (including Tut's) contained jars of wine and art depicting the making or consuming of wine.
Alcohol is mentioned again and again throughout history. It is easy to presume that there were drunken chariot riders in ancient Rome and Egypt.
This article is from DrinkingAndDriving.org